Student Spotlight: Katie Frost
Katie Frost is an undergraduate student in mechanical and aerospace engineering. She is also an undergraduate teaching assistant and works as an undergraduate researcher at the Laboratory of Sound and Vibration Research.
Where is your hometown?
“I am from Springfield, Virginia, which is like 15 minutes South of D.C.”
What brought you to Ohio State?
“My parents met here when my dad was in grad school. My mom’s dad was his grad adviser and he kind of set them up. So, two weeks before my dad was supposed to defend his thesis, my grandpa said, ‘oh, I have someone for you to meet who is going to help you with paperwork and stuff, and it was my mom.’ So, I have always been a Buckeye, and I knew I wanted to study a lot of different things so I knew I needed a really big school like this that has everything. Just kind of checked all the boxes.”
What is your specific area of study?
“I am a double major in mechanical engineering and music, and I have a minor in Spanish.”
What made you pursue mechanical engineering?
“I came into college thinking that I was going to study math, but then I realized that a lot of math tracks are more of the theoretical side and I wanted to do something that was just more real world. So, just a way to apply that math to real life and I realized that was engineering. Mechanical is definitely one of the most broad of the engineerings, which is one of the reasons I chose it because I wasn’t really sure which fields I wanted to go into. And I’ve loved it.”
Do you have a specialty that you would like to focus in?
“I have kind of hopped around a lot. I have done research in acoustics and now I am doing research in flexible electronics, and I did an internship with Ford. So, I think I would like to be in R and D and not in the manufacturing side, and I, actually, just started a design internship. I think more of the design side, but I think everybody wants to be on that side right now so it’s definitely tougher to get into.”
What do you like most about the major and what opportunities does Ohio State allow you as a student?
”I like that I feel that everything I am learning could be applied to a real world job. I think a lot of people complain that it is too theoretical, but I think that is important for building the foundation for understanding the real world applications. I do feel like there has been multiple times where I have gone into interviews or some sort of networking event and people were really impressed with the things we were learning in classes, a lot of things that other universities don’t have. For example, the introduction to design class, 2900, I am a TA for that now, and working in the shop is something that at so many schools is just not an opportunity that they have. So now, being able to be a TA for that and really get machine experience has been really awesome.”
What would you say your favorite class you have ever taken is?
“That might be my favorite, yea. Because even for the Arduino section of it, I don’t love coding, but I had a lot of fun with that project because it really was just find a problem and figure out a solution to it. It was very open ended and we could do something that interested us. So yea, I really liked that class.”
Any specific reason?
“I think because it was probably the most application that we have done.”
What advice would you give to a student coming to Ohio State for engineering?
“First, I would say that it is okay if you get here and you realize you hate engineering because that happens to a lot of people. I think engineering just has that reputation for being like ‘the best’, and it is not necessarily better or worse than any other major. I mean, I love it, but that is just because how my brain works, and other majors aren’t bad. I say that because I have tutored a lot of freshman over the past three years in calculus and that was something that came up a lot. So, definitely make sure that it is something that you are passionate about because if it is not you are going to hate your life a lot putting in all the work that it takes. But on the flip side of that, when you do love it, it is totally worth all the work you are putting in and is a very rewarding major. It is cool now getting into internships and jobs seeing how we can really make a difference in the world. That is really cool.”
Do you have any tips on how a freshman in engineering could be successful?
“Yes, lots. Definitely ask for help early. I always like to say my smartest students are the ones who get tutors at the beginning of the semester even though they feel like they don’t need help because then you are getting ahead of things. Also, don’t feel the need to compare yourself to others around you if you are moving at a different pace. Like right now, I am in 24 hours of classes. That is not the typical student thing to do, and that is fine. If you take 12 hours, and that is plenty for you then that is okay. So many students take more than four years now and that is totally fine. It is better to do well in five years to fail out in four.”
If a penguin were to walk the door with a sombrero on, what would he say and why is he here?
“I don’t know…maybe, ‘It is hot outside,’ because of global warming. I don’t know why he has the sombrero though maybe he traveled south hoping it was colder and was very disappointed.”